Tuesday, December 31, 2013

An Urban Teacher's Education: Life Lessons: 2013

An Urban Teacher's Education: Life Lessons: 2013:

Life Lessons: 2013



It's time, once again, to reflect on the things I've learned this past year, both in teaching and in life. 

In 2009, most of my learning was about the corruption and disgusting nature of gritty inner-city politics. In 2010, I spent a lot of time reflecting on what constitutes real, valuable, meaningful knowledge and how we go about acquiring that and passing it on. In 2011, my learning seemed to be all over the place - although much of it was about finding success in schools and democracy. And last year (here and here), I learned a lot about identity and how it influences the way we learn.

This year, much of my learning has been around health, creating healthy school environments, identifying the markers of unhealthy environments, and seeking to remedy them. 

Here they are:

1) "You cannot have an atmosphere of respect given an impossible task."

At the CES conference this past November in San Francisco, my colleagues and I were listening to Deborah Meier talk about the state of schools today. At one point, she noted, "You cannot have an atmosphere of respect given an impossible task."

Ms. Meier is right.

Most public education workers have been given an impossible task. It is easy to hide that it is an 

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